DecisionSet® believes that lawyers and law firms need to function as expert decision makers. Although lawyers know the law and are persuasive advocates, they generally are not educated or trained to be expert decision makers. Judgment, decision-making and problem-solving skills often are the missing links between subject matter expertise and successful legal outcomes. In a profession that emphasizes argument and advocacy, the skills essential to generating and evaluating alternatives, effectively counseling clients and strategically resolving conflicts may be neglected.
DecisionSet® works with attorneys and law firms to improve the quality of decision making and assist them in becoming high reliability organizations. Karl Weick, an expert in organizational behavior, first coined the term "high-reliability organization" (HRO) after studying how the operations of aircraft carriers, air traffic control systems, emergency rooms and wildfire fighters differed from ordinary, low-risk organizations. He identified multiple factors that protect against catastrophic results in fast-paced, high-risk working environments. Other researchers have studied a wide range of experts who make hundreds of critical decisions in an ordinary day -- intensive care unit nurses, fighter pilots, chess masters, platoon leaders, paramedics, and air traffic controllers -- to determine what conditions and types of personal interactions contribute to avoidable errors and undermine a "culture of safety."
DecisionSet® believes that law firms should operate as HROs because the consequences of poor decision making and problem-solving skills can be catastrophic for clients. The law firm environment presents challenges similar to those confronting other HROs - -multiple actors, intense time pressures, highly skilled professionals, inaccurate, misleading and insufficient information, and critical decision making coupled with irreparable results.
DecisionSet® employs multiple tools to enhance lawyer and law firm performance, from decision courses to assessments of firms’ problem-solving and decision-making capabilities, from predictive models of legal outcomes to educational programs regarding the legal malpractice implications of poor decision-making skills. Its multi-disciplinary approach to decision making integrates the fields of psychology, statistics, economics and law.